Marshall Frankel, a former Bangor city councilor, seen here on the opening of his Mister Bagel shop in 1993. Frankel died at age 83 on March 14, 2023. Credit: BDN file

Marshall Frankel, who was prominent in the Bangor business scene and served three and a half terms as a Bangor city council member, died on March 14 at age 83, according to family members.

Frankel, a native of Bayonne, New Jersey, attended the University of Kentucky and later joined the Army Reserves, serving as a medic. After stints working in New Jersey and California, he met his wife, Leiba, on vacation in Puerto Rico.

 Frankel was a fixture in downtown Bangor for many years.

The couple moved to Maine in 1968, initially to Portland, with plans to go into Leiba’s family business, jewelers G.M. Pollack & Sons. A few years later, they moved to Bangor to open a G.M. Pollack in the city, where they would raise their two daughters and live for more than three decades.

Frankel was first elected to city council in 1983, and served an initial two terms. After a two-year break, he was elected to another term in 1990, and then ran one more time in 1994, serving about half of his three-year term before resigning in 1996. During that time, he served three year-long stints as council chairman, a position often referred to as Bangor’s mayor.

Among Frankel’s accomplishments on the council was an effort in the 1990s to refurbish Cascade Park, which had fallen into disrepair throughout the 1970s and 1980s. A contingent of people within the city government accused Frankel of mismanagement of funds regarding the Cascade Park project, but a subsequent audit cleared him of any wrongdoing.

As council chairman, he also greeted a number of politicians who visited the city, including Al Gore, Hillary Clinton and Mike Dukakis.

He was also an early supporter of the Maine Troop Greeters, and helped coordinate local bands and restaurateurs to greet arriving troops at Bangor International Airport with food and music. He was a member of Bangor Rotary, Kiwanis and the Elks, and was an avid fan of the University of Maine men’s ice hockey team.

Frankel later opened a Bangor location for the Mister Bagel chain, which has a location in Portland as well. It operated near the Bangor Mall from 1993 until Frankel retired in the early 2000s.

Frankel is survived by his wife of 54 years, Leiba, two daughters, Mindy and Amy and their spouses, and four grandchildren.

The funeral was held Thursday, March 16, at Level Chapel in Portland and Mt. Sinai Cemetery. Shiva will be at the home of Mindy and Max Peckler, 188 Franklin St., Newton, Massachusetts, 1-5 p.m. Friday, March 17.

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Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.